And ANOTHER knitting song: Knitting – Arthur Askey (1939)

Comedian Arthur Askey was born in Liverpool in 1900 and served in WWI where he also performed in army entertainments. After the War he went into the theatre and eventually built a career on the radio, becoming well known by the late 1930s. His comic song Knitting was recorded in 1939.

SPOKEN: Knit one, purl one, knit one, purl two. Sorry to keep you waiting, playmates, but I must finish this sock. I’m just turning the elbow, so amuse yourselves for a minute, will you? Won’t be long now! Knit one purl one, knit one— Oh, curse! I’ve dropped a stitch. Aren’t I a silly girl?

Some like football; some like darts.
I like kitting and the simpler arts.
Half a dozen needles, an ounce or two of wool,
Fills me cup of happiness chock full.

I’m a little knitwit, knitting all the day.
That’s how I keep dull care away.
Hemstitch, lockstitch, plain and purl,
A pleasant occupation for a good little girl.

I knit jumpers, pretty little jumpers,
Very high jumpers as well as very low.
I’ve knitted jumpers for test-match stumpers.
Never had a misfit, oh, no!

Knitted one for father, the color of his eyes,
Perfect style and immaculate size,
Filling ev’ry crevice, …(?) ev’ry joint,
Sitting like a glove upon his embonpoint.

Knit one, drop one, flip(?) one, drop one,
Neat a bit of work as you ever did see.
Put one, take one, boil one, bake one,
Put it in the oven for mummy and me.

I’m a little knitwit, knitting with a will,
Mitts for little Audrey, socks for Bill,
Three-ply cable, plain and purl,
A useful occupation for a nice little girl.

I knit jerkins, nobby little jerkins,
Who says a jerkin with little squiggly bits.
I can wheedle(?) a jerkin needle
As good as any knitwit what knits.

Knitting is a sedative, soothing to the nerves,
Develops good points and graceful curves.
Sit and take it easy, planning this and that,
Where’s me googly(?) wool gone? Darn that cat!

Rib one, space one, lose one, chase one,
Knit a pair of night socks for any wee tot.
Mufflers, hose-bags(?), cosys, nosebags,
A comfy little cover for your hot-water bot.

I’m a little knitwit, knitting with a verve,
Getting all cockeyed but I do not swerve.
Neckbands, arm-hole, plain and purl,
A charming occupation for a sweet little girl

I knit babies, bonnie little babies,
I knit babies’ bootiekins and hats.
I knit a … for … makers,
Natty little neckties and spats.

Perky little pilchards(?), the pinkest ever seen,
Suitable for weddings up at Gretna Green.
Pilchies(?) à la West End make for heavy wear.
I don’t know how they put them on and I don’t care.

Coaches, skirties, shorties, shirties,
Keeping all the wearers up to scratch,
Blue bags, grey bags, full-sized hay bags,
Does anybody want to try a needle match?

I’m a little knitwit, knitting all the day,
When I’m out a-gathering nuts in May.
Hooks and eyelets, plain and purl,
A simple occupation for a plain little girl.

I knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit to drive dull care away.

SPOKEN: Goodbye, playmates. Knit one, purl one, knit one— (fade)

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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2 Responses to And ANOTHER knitting song: Knitting – Arthur Askey (1939)

  1. Miss Rayne says:

    There’s a ‘sort of’ knitting song in The Avengers episode
    The Girl From Auntie
    Bernard Cribbins almost raps to the ladies knitting circle –
    Knit along with Arkwirght

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